First look: Ginza Sushi & Grill opens near the University of Denver

All photos by Lori Midson.
In Tokyo, Ginza is a famous shopping, entertainment and dining district. Across from the University of Denver, it's a full-service sushi restaurant at the new One Observatory Park, a multi-story shopping and residential building. The restaurant made its debut last weekend, and is now open daily for lunch and dinner; it features a full sushi menu as well as teriyaki and noodle dishes. Here's a taste of what you'll find at Denver's Ginza Sushi & Grill.

See also: Best Sushi Bar 2014 -- Land of Sushi

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First look: Homegrown Tap & Dough opens in Washington Park

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All photos by Lori Midson.
Considering the earlier problems that restaurants have had at 1001 South Gaylord -- a link in the Telluride-based Brown Dog pizza outfit never even opened because of neighborhood opposition, and although the New Mexico-based Il Vicino chain did start cooking here, neighbors complained about the smells emanating from the pizza oven -- the transition to Homegrown Tap & Dough was as smooth as the sauce on its pizzas. When Il Vicino turned off that oven in May (a second Il Vicino is still open in Littleton), Philip Failyou, owner of Park Burger, jumped at the chance to take it over for "a family-friendly place with wood-fired, thin-crusted classic and modern pizzas, pastas, antipasto, salads, a couple of main dishes -- think brick chicken -- and a great beer program."

He signed the lease in May and Homegrown Tap & Dough opened this past weekend. Lori Midson was there to photograph the action; keep reading for a taste.

See also: Homegrown Tap & Dough replacing Il Vicino

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Ace and Osage Café crowned the kings of wings at Sunday's Wings and Whiskey throwdown

All photos by Lori Midson
Hundreds of whiskey and chicken-wing aficionados swarmed the quarters at Ace Eat Serve on Sunday afternoon to partake in the restaurant's first Wings and Whiskey jubilee. A coop of chefs, including Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek), Troy Guard (TAG), Jamey Fader (culinary director of Big Red F/Post Brewing/Good Bird Chicken), Mimi Banish (Osage Café), Matt Selby (Central Bistro & Bar), AJ Ouellette (Fire On The Mountain), Brandon Foster (Vesta Dipping Grill), Cliff Blauvelt (Steuben's) and Chris Medved and Brandon Biederman (Ace), were pitted against each another in a spirited competition to be crowned the overlord of fowl. Two winners emerged: Ace and Osage Cafe, both of whom waltzed away with trophies. The bash also featured a chicken wing-eating contest (and lots of squawking, sauce-smearing and face paint), whiskey cocktails, beers from Great Divide and live music. The proceeds from the event benefited the Denver Housing Authority's Youth Culinary Academy. Here's a recap of the festivities, and don't miss our full slide show of all the shenanigans.

See also: Wings and Whiskey at Ace

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Scenes and highlights from the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

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All photos by Lori Midson.

From chef Marcus Samuelsson's impressive finish in a 5K charity race to Jose Andres stuttering in the microphone when a reporter asked about his first "foodgasm," this past weekend's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen was a bonanza of celebrity chefs, grape masters, spirit kingpins and beer authorities, boozy hazes, culinary sensations and memorable shenanigans (one chef, whose name shall remain anonymous, even ditched his underwear). The annual four-day feast, which sold out months ago, paraded a star-studded lineup of familiar names, including Andrew Zimmern, Dean Fearing, Ming Tsai, Bobby Flay, Danny Meyer, Jacques and Claudine Pépin, Michael Symon and Hugh Acheson, not to mention Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs of the year. Behold some of the peak moments in the picture show on the following pages.

See also: Aspen Food & Wine: Chef Marcus Samuelsson flies right with yard bird chicken

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A sneak peek at Stoic & Genuine's terrific fish-anchored menu

All photos by Lori Midson.

When the beautifully restored Union Station opens to the public on Saturday, July 12, the Denver food cognoscenti will have a spectacular depot of new restaurants to chew on, including The Kitchen Next Door, Snooze, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Eatmore Burgers & Brats and Stoic & Genuine, a 2,000-square-foot, 62-seat multi-coastal seafood, fish and oyster house from Jennifer Jasinski, co-owner and chef of Rioja, Euclid Hall and Bistro Vendome.

See also: Indulge your pork fantasies at Grand Cochon in Aspen, featuring Jennifer Jasinski

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First Look: Ella, a "fine diner" from the owner of Zoe Ma Ma, opens in Boulder

All photos by Lori Midson.

Even the co-owner of Boulder's best Chinese restaurant knows his limitations. "I knew that I had to come clean with a secret: I'm not Italian," quips Edwin Zoe, who, along with his mother, owns Zoe Ma Ma, a stellar Chinese restaurant in downtown Boulder and, up until quite recently, Radda Trattoria, a popular Italian restaurant in north Boulder, which Zoe assumed ownership of in December of 2012, after the original owner, Matt Jansen, sold the space. Last month, Zoe closed Radda, after realizing, he admits, that "preserving an Italian legacy" wasn't in his best interest.

See also: Ella will replace Radda Trattoria in north Boulder

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First Look: Glaze by Sasa opens Monday, June 16

All photos by Lori Midson.

In March, Glaze: the Baumcake Shoppe, a gorgeous Japanese bakery in Congress Park, shuttered, leaving a litany of ardent admirers of the bakery's macarons and baum cakes starving for news that co-owner Heather Alcott would make a comeback. And she has, collaborating with Wayne Conwell, chef-owner of Sushi Sasa, on a joint concept -- Glaze by Sasa -- that combines Conwell's stunning displays of raw fish with Alcott's whimsical Japanese desserts.

See also: Glaze: the Baum Cake Shop closing on March 1

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First Look: Argyll Whisky Beer Gastropub opens tonight in Uptown

All photos by Lori Midson.

Tonight at 5 p.m., restaurateur Robert Thompson, along with an incredibly pedigreed pool of talent, including executive chef John Broening, beer-and-whisky king Ryan Conklin and front-of-the-house czar Steve Kingsbury, will open Argyll Whisky Beer Gastropub in Uptown, in the former Las Margaritas space.

See also: Exclusive: Robert Thompson opening Argyll Whisky Beer in the Las Margaritas space in Uptown

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First Look: Fork & Spoon opens in the former Taki's space on East Colfax

All photos by Lori Midson.

After Taki's, a twenty-year veteran on East Colfax, closed in November of last year, sisters Nancy Brady and Helen Patterson, both of whom own CityGrille next door, fulfilled one of the objectives on their bucket list: They opened a breakfast spot with good coffee. "We've always had a dream of opening a great coffee shop," says Brady, who, along with her sister, opened Fork & Spoon, an enamoring java joint and breakfast-lunch emporium, late last week.

See also: Fork & Spoon takes over Taki's space on East Colfax

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First look: Range opens Thursday in the new Renaissance Denver Downtown hotel

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All photos by Lori Midson.

On Thursday, after several years lying dormant, Denver's historic Colorado National Bank building, originally built in 1915 and still one of the most stunning architectural structures in the Mile High City, will reopen as the Renaissance Denver Hotel, a multi-storied masterpiece that features futuristic hotel rooms and a new restaurant called Range, which ballyhoos executive chef Paul Nagan's "modern interpretation of Colorado cuisine built around live wood-fired cooking, a charcoal grill and smoker."

See also: Range will bring cuisine from the American West to downtown Denver

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